Gympie doctor urges locals to get flu shot amid virus risk
A GYMPIE doctor says getting the flu shot is crucial this year with the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic to remain through winter.
Excelsior Medical Centre GP Dr John Manton echoed State Government calls for as many Queenslanders as possible to protect themselves against the flu as the health system prepares for a busy season ahead.
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“You don’t want to get two diseases. No question that COVID is much more dangerous than the flu, but the flu you still don’t want,” Dr Manton said.
“It’s most dangerous for people at the extremes of life, so if you’re under five and over 65, but also if you’ve got chronic illnesses.
“We’re very keen for everyone to get a flu shot if possible.”
Those eligible for the funded vaccine are:
•pregnant women during any stage of pregnancy
•persons 65 years of age or older
•children 6 months of age to less than 5 years
•Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander aged 6 months and older
•People six months of age or older who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.
Dr Manton said the Excelsior clinic had seen a comparative upswing of residents booking in their flu shots this year, and hoped that trend would continue.
“I think it’s definitely been up this year, we’ve noticed that, people are much more keen to get it done,” he said.
“By and large the pick-up has been pretty good, we’re struggling to keep up with demand in the sense that we only get our flu vaccines in batches every week or couple of weeks, so I recommend ringing up and making a time specific.
“We’re trying to make individual flu clinics to make everything as quick as possible, we’ve taken extra added precautions, so nobody is sitting around in a waiting room for any length of time. We’re trying to get people vaccinated early rather than late.”
Queenslanders can obtain the influenza vaccination from their doctor, immunisation provider or some community pharmacies. For more information on the influenza vaccine or getting vaccinated, please contact your health care provider.